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Understanding Eye Donation: Expert Debunks 6 Common Myths

Modern eye donation procedures no longer involve the removal of the entire eyeball.

Understanding Eye Donation: Expert Debunks 6 Common Myths

Eye donation is a noble and selfless act

Eye donation is a noble and selfless act that often comes with myths and misconceptions. It is essential to address these misconceptions and spread awareness about the significance of eye donation.

There are many common myths around eye donation; below are some of them.

1. One eye donor can help only one patient.

Fact: The truth is, one eye donor can potentially help two patients overcome corneal blindness. Moreover, depending on the layer of the cornea affected, specific layers can be transplanted instead of the entire cornea. This advanced technique allows up to four patients to benefit from two corneas donated by a single individual.

2. Eye donation can cause facial disfigurement

Fact: Modern eye donation procedures no longer involve the removal of the entire eyeball. Only the cornea, which is the central transparent layer, and the surrounding white area (sclera) are removed. This minimises bleeding and discomfort. The procedure, conducted by certified technicians or doctors, takes a swift 20 minutes. After donation, there's no visible change in the appearance of the eye.

3. All types of blindness can be treated with eye donation.

Fact: Eye donation primarily involves the transplantation of the cornea, the transparent outer layer of the eye. It can only restore vision for individuals suffering from corneal blindness. Other conditions, such as retinal diseases or glaucoma, require different treatments and are not addressed through eye donation.

4. If I fill out a pledge form, I'm automatically an eye donor

Fact: Merely filling out a pledge form doesn't make someone an eye donor. Eye donation can only occur with the written consent of the family after the individual's demise. Therefore, it's essential to inform your family members about your decision to donate your eyes.

5. Eye donation can happen any time after death

Fact: Eye donation must take place within 8 to 12 hours of the individual's passing, depending on the external temperature. To facilitate this process, some simple steps can be taken. Switch off fans, place a damp white cloth over the closed eyes, elevate the head slightly, and immediately call the local helpline at 1919.

By clearing up these myths and sharing the facts about eye donation, we can encourage more individuals to pledge their eyes and make a meaningful difference in the lives of those suffering from corneal blindness. Your decision today could bring light into someone's world tomorrow.

(Dr. Manisha Acharya is Director Cornea Services and Eye Bank at Dr. Shroff's Charity Eye Hospital, Daryaganj. You can reach Dr. Shroff's Charity Eye Hospital at 9650300333 for eye donation)

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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